At the Academy: A roundup of free events

At the Academy: Gypsy band, philosophy lecture on tap

2014-07-24T00:00:00Z At the Academy: Gypsy band, philosophy lecture on tapSubmitted by Mike Maharry Academy Village Volunteer Arizona Daily Star
July 29

Gypsy jazz group to offer echoes of Django’s sound

The Hot Club of Tucson brings its swinging style of gypsy jazz to the Arizona Senior Academy on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m.

Also known as “hot jazz,” gypsy jazz originated in Paris in the 1930s and ’40s with Roma guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli and their Quintette du Hot Club de France. The Quintette also included a bass and two rhythm guitars with varying personnel over the years.

The Hot Club of Tucson consists of the talented trio of Matt Mitchell (on guitar), Nick Coventry (violin) and Evan Dain (bass). They play their own arrangements of American Tin Pan Alley, French jazz, traditional Gypsy and original pieces.

Mitchell, a Phoenix native, studied classical piano at an early age and moved on to guitar, playing rock, jazz and classical styles. He eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Arizona.

Hailing from Goleta, California, Coventry studied violin from an early age. At 12 he heard a recording of Stephane Grappelli and was determined to learn the swinging style of gypsy jazz violin. While studying classical violin at the University of California Santa Barbara, he started his first gypsy swing band, and has since performed at festivals in Europe and the U.S.

A San Francisco native, Dains first played guitar, followed by bass, banjo and mandolin, trombone and tuba. Having studied music at Laney College in Oakland, California, his musical career has encompassed traditional, modern and Latin jazz, rock, bluegrass, pop and country-western styles.

The Hot Club of Tucson’s recently released CD is a compilation of live performances at the 2013 Randolph Park El Con Jazz Series, and will be available for sale at Tuesday’s concert.

Leslie Nitzberg

July 30

UA professor to lead self-discovery lecture

What makes you what you are? What makes you the same person from year to year? Some philosophers maintain that memories are a key to these questions, while recent research suggests that one’s moral traits may be the most central aspect of what makes one the same person across time.

These questions and theories will be addressed by Shaun Nichols, a popular experimental philosophy professor from the University of Arizona in Wednesday’s lecture. Open to the public, the free program begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Great Room of the ASA Building.

Nichols has been a faculty member in the UA Department of Philosophy since 2006 and, as a member of the school’s Experimental Philosophy laboratory, has focused his research on such topics as experimental philosophy, moral psychology, cultural evolution, free will and the self.

He was awarded the Stanton Prize in 2005 by the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. This honor is given annually to a young scholar who has made significant contributions to interdisciplinary research in philosophy, psychology or related disciplines.

Nichols has been a guest lecturer at a number of universities and conferences in various U.S. and foreign locations including Singapore, Switzerland, Brazil, Sweden, France, Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom.

He is the author of numerous articles in professional journals and several books including “Bound: Essays on Free Will and Responsibility,” and “Sentimental Rules: On the Natural Foundations of Moral Judgment.”

A graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in philosophy, Nichols completed his Ph.D. degree at Rutgers University. He then became a professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and later at the University of Utah. in Salt Lake City.

H. Deon Holt

Readers are welcome to submit stories at tucson.com/east

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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